This is a bit of a cheer for the community theatre, actors on the way up, the independent companies. I usually focus on the professional stuff, but where do you draw the line? Do you include the co-op with young actors on the way up, but not professionals coming out of retirement to direct down in Onehunga? Or do you include Prayas, creating pathways for Indian performers, but not older groups? SO, it’s all in this week.
Silo, ATC and Indian Ink all continue their runs this week. An updated Medea at the Herald considers the toxic breakdown of a relationship from the point of the children. Good performances, but with most of the drama taking place off stage it lacks the big emotional punch I was hoping for, but that may come with the run. A very updated Kate Sheppard brings down the house in a political punk panto take on the suffragette movement in That Bloody Woman. A mixture of terrific vocals, great music and finely tuned comic timing make this a thoroughly entertaining, and worthy, night out. The Elephant Thief is charming, highly theatrical, and the big teeth and energy of the cast make up for the odd plot hole.
Down in the Basement, the Matariki festival has started with Hine, which attempts to reclaim the sacredness of women through ceremony, dance and song, and La Vie Dans Une Marionette, which brings together actor, dancer and clown Justin Haiu, Tama Jarman and Jarod Rawiri to form the White Face Crew.
Prayas Theatre returns to Tapac on Thursday with Love n Stuff by Tanika Gupta, following their sell-out production of A Fine Balance. A comedy set in the Auckland airport, Mansoor of Sandringham attempts to walk out of his 35-year-old marriage to return to India, underestimating his family’s determination to stop him. Compare and contrast with Roger Hall’s Four Flat Whites in Italy, which is being staged in Takapuna’s Pumphouse Theatre.
More new writing, local and international, at two of Auckland Central’s smallest theatres: Garnet Station sees the performance of Ain’t That a Bitch, which stars talented up-and-coming young actors Anthea Hill and Daniel Watterson (Olivia in the Pop-up Globe’s Twelfth Night). Then there is Principal Principle down in Onehunga, which is fresh from Chicago.
And what else? Well, you can enjoy a talk and performance with Richard Gill on how Prokofiev creates a masterpiece in his Romeo & Juliet at the Auckland Town Hall on Tuesday, at 6.30. Or you could skate in Aotea Square. There is even a free concert with the NZSO aimed at families on Sunday at 4pm, held at the Bruce Mason Centre in Takapuna (registration required however).
Finally, Auckland Council is celebrating Matariki with enthusiasm, offering over 100 events across Auckland ranging from theatre to art, kite-flying to walking tours, and even getting your hands dirty looking after the land and enjoying flax workshops in the Pa Harakeke in Point Chevalier. To find out more. Enjoy.